Prime Cuts: A Thousand Hallelujahs, Nineveh, I Belong to Jesus (Dylan's Song)
Overall Grade: 5/5
Arguably Brooke Ligertwood is the best songwriter on the Hillsong team. Her thoughtful ballads interwoven with poetic theological truths had created classics such as "What a Beautiful Name," "Hosanna," "Soon," "Lead Me to the Cross," "Desert Song," and many others. Fans have been waiting for her to cut her own solo worship album for years. However, her more mainstream projects, under her maiden name Brooke Fraser, seemed to take precedence. Finally, after much promptings from the Holy Spirit, she debuts her first worship album, recorded live at the Belonging Co. in Nashville.
While Ligertwood normally only contributes one or two songs to her Hillsong projects, here we get an album's full. If you are looking for classic sounding ballads in the Hillsong-esque vein, many of them abound here. "Communion," which bears some resemblance to Hillsong's own "Remembrance," is pensive piano-led meditation on the sacrifice of Jesus. With Lent and Easter coming out, worship leaders will do well to include this song in their song set. "A Thousand Hallelujahs," co-written with her hubby Scott and Phil Wickham, comes with a congregational affinity. Featuring a memorable chorus with a melody that invites you to worship, "A Thousand Hallelujahs" ranks high up there with Hillsong's classics such as "What A Beautiful Name" and "Who You Say I Am."
"Nineveh" is the prime example of songwriters who have had spent time meditating on the Bible. As a heartfelt response to the book of Jonah, "Nineveh" is a carefully worded song of repentance. The same can be said about "Ancient Doors." This song brings us back to the days of the Psalmists when they swung open the gates of Jerusalem for worship during the festivals. Co-written by Mitch Wong and Bethel's Brandon Lake, "Honey from the Rocks" (one of the few up tempos) is based on the experience of the Israelites when they were in the wilderness. Despite their sufferings, Ligertwood reminds us that there is always God's sweet provision in the form of the honey from the manna.
Ligertwood bares her soul on the album's nerve center, "I Belong to Jesus." In a culture of failing leaders and in a world full of brokenness, Ligertwood gently prays, "May he turn my eyes upon himself/So it's him I long." If you are looking for worship songs that delve deeper than the recycled lyrical tropes and cliches, give this album a go. These songs are creatively and poetically worded and they are thoughtfully and prayerfully executed.